Mandatory equipment for your vehicle in Europe

Posted in General on 20 September 2011

When travelling in Europe with your own vehicle, it is important to understand that different countries have different requirements in terms of what you must carry in your car at all times.

You will need to meet the requirements for each country you drive through, not just the destination country. Below is a table for quick reference of several popular countries that people visit with our European Breakdown Cover, beneath this is more detail on each respective country in the table.

  France Belgium Germany Poland Switzerland Czech Republic
Warning Triangle Yes Yes   Yes Yes Yes
Reflective Jacket Yes Yes Yes     Yes
First Aid Kit     Yes     Yes
Set of Replacement Bulbs           Yes
Set of Replacement Fuses           Yes
Winter Equipment Yes   Yes   Yes Yes
  • Warning triangle – all vehicles must carry a warning triangle, excluding motorcycles.
  • Snow chains - must be fitted to vehicles using snow-covered roads in compliance with the relevant road sign. With snow chains the maximum speed limit becomes 31 mph (50km/h).
  • Reflective jackets - one reflective jacket in the vehicle (i.e. not in the boot). This does not apply to drivers of two-wheeled and three-wheeled vehicles. This must comply with the European EN471 standard.

Please Note: - If you breakdown on a French motorway, it will normally be the police that arrange for the recovery of your vehicle.

  • Reflective jacket - Drivers stranded on a Belgian motorway, on a major road or stopping where parking is not allowed must wear a reflective safety jacket as soon as they leave their vehicle.
  • Warning triangle - all vehicles must carry a warning triangle, excluding motorcycles.


  • Winter equipment – All vehicles using German roads must have winter tyres, usually marked M&S, during winter weather conditions.
  • Reflective jackets – There must be one reflective jacket in the vehicle that complies with EN471
  • First Aid kit

Please Note: While it is not compulsory for UK motorists visiting Germany to carry a warning triangle, it is a compulsory requirement for residents. All drivers must signal their vehicle in the event of a breakdown.


  • Warning triangle - all vehicles must carry a warning triangle, excluding motorcycles.
  • Snow chains – compulsory in areas indicated by the appropriate signage and must be fitted on at least two drive wheels.
  • Warning triangle – Each motor vehicle must be equipped with a warning triangle which must be kept within easy reach (i.e. not in the boot) of the occupants. This must be used in any breakdown/emergency situation. Excludes motorcycles.
Czech Republic
  • First-aid kit
  • A set of replacement bulbs
  • A set of replacement fuses
  • Warning triangle - not required for motorbikes
  • Reflective Jacket – A reflective jacket carried by all motor vehicles
  • Winter equipment - Between the 1st November and the 31st March all vehicles travelling on roads with signage showing a picture of a car and a snowflake must be fitted with either winter tyres, marked M&S, or carry snow chains.
  • Reflective jacket – All drivers of vehicles with 2 or more axles or riders of mopeds and motorcycles must carry a reflective waistcoat that complies with EU standard EN471. This must be worn in the event of a breakdown or emergency on all roads, expressways and motorways. It has to be worn when exiting the vehicle and therefore must be kept within the car.

Please note: From November 2011, it is likely that winter tyres will be compulsory on all roads during winter weather conditions.

At Voyager we recommend that you check each country you are travelling through for other requirements as these will differ from country to country. Also the points here are for informational purposes only and are subject to change; always check to see if the requirements for a country you are travelling through have changed.

If you are going abroad with your car or motorcycle it may be worth purchasing a Voyager to Europe European breakdown cover policy in case you have a breakdown or accident while away, click here for more details.

Author: Adam

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